Lecture – Paula Stuart-Warren @ on Zoom
Mar 16 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter:   Paula Stuart-Warren

“Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking” 

Did great-grandpa or another family member traverse this nation as he worked for the railroad? For which railroad did they work? Where did it run? Are there railroad records which may provide personal details? Visuals and references demonstrate the wealth of historical materials available all across the U.S. The railroads helped to develop places and other businesses. When this lecture is over you will know where to turn to find out more about the railroad, its records, and where to find them. An extensive handout accompanies the presentation.

Paula is an internationally recognized genealogical educator, researcher, and consultant focusing on unusual resources, manuscripts, methodology, and analyzing records. She also specializes in Native American research, the WPA, and railroad records. She spends extensive research time at libraries, courthouses, state archives, historical societies, and various locations of the National Archives. Paula presents courses and virtual seminars and webinars across the U.S. and in Canada. She has been a Board-Certified Genealogist since 1988.

She is descended from eight ancestral countries and has researched family connections across the U.S. and Canada. She currently has her own educational website and blog at and is enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and continuing education.

Second presentation:

Presenter: Stephanie O’Connell

“Reconstructing the Lives of Female Irish Ancestors” 

Researching our Irish ancestors can be challenging; our female Irish ancestors can be even more so. Creative research methods can aid in our search by revealing sources and historical context that allow us to discover their stories. This presentation reviews the strategies used to search for a Dublin-born mother and daughter in the nineteenth century. Using social history resources specific to these women brings them out of the shadows and into their rightful place in history or herstory.

Stephanie O’Connell is a professional genealogist who holds the credential Certified Genealogist from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She specializes in Irish research, with a profound passion for uncovering the unique social history of our ancestors. Stephanie has been a ProGen Mentor, SLIG Instructor, and speaks regularly at genealogy conferences, including RootsTech and the National Genealogical Society Conference.

All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.

There is no DNA Special Interest Group meeting this month. Our members are encouraged to attend Conejo Valley Genealogical Society’s DNA SIG this month. Contact for more information.

Technology Special Interest Group @ Online using Zoom
Mar 27 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

The VCGS Technology Special Interest Group uses a workshop format. Attendees are encouraged to raise topics they need help with or that they would like to know more about and our members will chip in to offer advice and ideas. Our meetings are open to the public. Leaders are Ray Roth and Don Worth. Contact Don Worth,, if you would like to join us.

[This meeting will be held online with Zoom and an invitation will be sent out to the VCGS Weds Workshop Googlegroup email discussion group prior to the meeting. If you are not already on the email discussion group you may contact the webmaster at to be added. All our workshops are open to our members and the public.]

Lecture – Debra Dudek @ on Zoom
Apr 20 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter:  Debra Dudek

“Unusual Places to Find Births and Naturalizations” 

Widen your search for birth dates and locations as well as naturalizations from a variety of underutilized resources such as military rosters, consulate applications, voter registrations, cancelled passports, frakturs and much more.  This lecture focuses on both digital and physical resources, so bring your research checklist and see if these resources can help you fill in the gaps in your family tree.

Debra M. Dudek is Head of Adult and Teen Services at the Fountaindale Public Library District in Bolingbrook, IL. She holds a post graduate certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.  Ms. Dudek is the Book Review Editor of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, an executive board member of the Illinois State Historical Society, website coordinator for the Chicago Chapter NSDAR, and is the author of the World War I Research Guide: Tracing American Military and Non-Combatant Ancestors.

All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.

The DNA Special Interest Group meeting will precede the general meeting from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM on Zoom. Contact the webmaster to be added to the invitation list.